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Big Ben gains voice in Pittsburgh Steelers' game plans

Coming off an 8-8 season in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have plenty to point to when pondering what went wrong in 2012.

Kinkhabwala: Pairing up in Pittsburgh
After a rocky first season together, Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley are starting to gel, Aditi Kinkhabwala reports. More ...

For starters, Ben Roethlisberger never warmed up to Todd Haley's offensive philosophy, which favored the ground game and offered the veteran quarterback less of a chance to call his own plays.

Has Big Ben had a change of heart?

NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala wrote Wednesday that -- sometime between the end of last season and the hopeful days of May -- Roethlisberger "decided he liked the Steelers' offense."

One reason for the optimism: Big Ben has been given more of a voice in how the Steelers will move the ball this season. Running back Jonathan Dwyer told Kinkhabwala that Roethlisberger now "has a lot more power" in how the game plan is constructed.

That's encouraging, because every quarterback worth his salt wants to call his own plays, and few do a better job than Roethlisberger. He's one of the NFL's premier improvisers.

It's easy to forget that Roethlisberger was off to an MVP-level start last season before injuries unraveled his campaign and left the Steelers in the dust. Check out Aditi's report on why we might see a happier, more productive Big Ben this time around.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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